Indoor vs outdoor - how do you choose?

Indoor during the week before work due to time of day and safety. Outdoors on the weekends weather permitting, and for all VO2 workouts because I feel like I am suffocating indoors on those efforts.

A couple of my more specific criteria:


  • Most long endurance rides now that I have lots of time.
  • VO2max intervals, hill repeats
  • Sprinting
  • Skill sessions
  • Most short duration PDC testing


  • Endurance rides in the offseason, when it’s cold, or just sometimes when I don’t feel like fully kitting up etc.
  • Longer intervals, 8+ min, threshold, SST, and over/unders.
  • Some anaerobic interval repeats where I really want to bury myself sitting.
  • Recovery rides - I kinda like chasing D. Diesel around Watopia to keep these really easy.
  • Long duration PDC testing.

Tabata or short-short work I can do either way.

Doing the testing in the same modality that I ride the intervals helps mitigate the FTP/effort differences between outdoors and the trainer. So if my 20-60 minute test efforts are from the trainer, I feel pretty good doing my 2x20s on the trainer.

Otherwise, I don’t like riding in the rain - doesn’t happen much here, but with my trainer I will generally avoid it.

The last thing is safety… trainer is obviously much safer, and so sometimes I’ll default to that rather than risking life and limb with the crazies.